If you can imagine running "stock" Android on the HTC One or Galaxy S4 — or if you've had basically the same experience with a custom ROM — that's what we're dealing with here, and that's what you'll get if you purchase these phones from Google Play.
Seems like a great alternative for people who prefer stock Android but want greater choice in hardware. As someone who liked the HTC Nexus One, the Google Play edition HTC One might be the closest thing to a sequel we'll ever get. It's really strange from an iPhone perspective -- where we always get the "Apple Experience" but we never get 3rd party hardware makers -- to see these types of variants, but I think it's a very good thing, and hope it's a trend that continues.
If you want a better idea of the current world Apple's next iPhone will be entering, check out Phil's complete first look, then come back here and tell me what you think. All software being equal now, at least on the Android side, what if anything do the big screen competitors portent for the future?